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2 January, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Overview of human resources in banks

Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management or BIBM is the oldest and best training institute so far for banking sector of Bangladesh
Mohammad Manzur Rahman
Overview of human resources in banks

Human Resource is called human capital in the 21st century. How does a bank recruit human resource? The local banks of Bangladesh recruit human resources in different slabs including lucrative Management Trainee level called MTO by undertaking 3 to 5 years within which the officers cannot switch to another bank or organisation. Such bindings have no legal validity. However, in practice it works through understanding among banks. MTO or PO are considered the assets of the bank and usually young, energetic business graduates are recruited who are considered future top management of the bank  and who are distinguished from other  bankers born to retire as clerk.

Regarding designation slab, local banks have mismatches. For example, in some banks First Assistant Vice President is promoted to Assistant Vice President while in others Assistant Vice President is promoted to First Assistant Vice President. Post of one bank does not match to that of another. As such, uniform designation slab is required in banking sector. The issue has been raised by Bankers several times with assurance that uniform designation slabs will be introduced by the regulatory authority soon.

Another issue is Provident Fund and Gratuity policy. For lack of uniform Provident Fund and Gratuity policy, many employees during leaving the bank cannot even say if he or she has been compensated properly.  Instead of formally disclosing employee service and service benefit rule , most banks  usually like to keep it as much of a secret as possible probably to take the advantage of the ignorance of the employees at the time of necessity, this observation has been raised by the Bangladesh Bank during their audit.

As per norms, an employee is entitled for 15 days leave in a year as earned leave. Central Bank has already penalised some banks for not giving this leave to employees. As such, all banks have started the practice for ensuring regulatory compliance. As regulatory body, Bangladesh Bank always maintains strict guardianship for which human resource policy and its implementation is far better in banking sector than any other sector in Bangladesh.

As per policy of Bangladesh Bank, if the resignation of an employee is not accepted by the Bank within certain period of time, the resignation letter will be automatically assumed to be accepted and the concerned employee can switch to any bank or organisation unless any previous disciplinary or financial obligation-related objection is brought against him or her. In banking sector, resignation letter of an employee is not enough, because he must be released from the bank so that it can be confirmed that the concerned employee is not involved in any crime especially financial scams. In any other job, submission of resignation letter is enough to join another organisation. However, if an employee of banking sector wants to join in non-banking sector like in a business group or marketing organisation, resignation letter is virtually sufficient and no released letter is usually demanded by non-banking recruiters.

What is the fate of the employees dismissed or terminated by banks or financial institutions? Usually bankers who are dismissed or terminated for whatever reason cannot re-enter into banking sector unless they have strong link or relationship with other bank’s officials. This is pathetic specially when many bankers have lost jobs in Bangladesh for different financial scams where they were not even personally benefited. It is told that in private sector of Bangladesh, the highest number of people who have to go to jail or prison is a banker and in most cases they are victim of circumstances. Many such bankers who have lost jobs for financial scams where they were not personally involved later have to work in garment sector or any marketing organisation undeservedly. The destinies of the bankers who are suspended sometimes become worse. The suspended employees have to sit in HRD without any work as attached and wait for indefinite period of time.

Another issue that has been tormenting Bangladeshi banking industry is fake certificate of employees. Since most banks do not verify the certificate of the employees during recruitment, many employees have to be dismissed after proof even after 20 years of serving the banking industry. Many bank employees have been dismissed for fake certificate and fake mark sheets even when they were waiting to become Executive Vice President or above. Now many banks have emphasised on certificate and even mark sheet verification during recruitment of employees. Since the issue might destroy the image of a bank, many has asked such fake certificate-holders to resign themselves instead of dismissing them.

Salary structure anomaly is another problem in the banking sector. It is found that in the same designation, different banks have different salary structure. Even in the same bank and in the same designation 2 or more types of salary structure is noticed. This happens for different reasons. During switch usually much higher salary is offered to new employees compared to existing employees for which such salary mismatch occurs. In banking sector there is also record of recruitment by giving up to 12 increments to match with existing salary. Here HRD becomes aggressive internal marketer to recruit the best employee competing with other banks. No need to mention the issue of nepotism. Apart from these, it is true that banking sector of Bangladesh offers the best salary structure than any other sector among private organisations. Many choose banking as a profession instead of becoming dishonest government officers. However, others who quit bank jobs for government jobs also have arguments. They say that charging interest on customers mercilessly for loan is no less harmful to society than corruption. “Corruption and compound bank interest/ usury are nothing other than two sides of the same coin in terms of exploiting common people”, many argue. Actually, every profession has its own positive and negative side that’s why we have to go for “trade off”.

In Bangladesh, many bank’s top executives receive salary that is unimaginable even in neighbouring India. Many high ups of private banks receive 10 to 20 times greater salary than full secretary of the ministry of Bangladesh. These executive argue: “We are always in threat to lose jobs either for change of management or for change of organisations policy which our government service holders friends do not. While government service holders are secured with pension scheme, we have to worry every five years lest all our benefits are cut off by the management after staying till retirement”.

This is also true. Many officials sued the bank after release or illogical dismissal for pending provident fund and gratuity which is not given based on lame excuses. While banks recruit top barristers in suits, such dismissed officials can at best recruit normal advocate who can hardly fight and naturally courts verdict goes in favour of the banks. Many were deprived of their end benefit as court favours the banks. Ironically enough, employees who are dismissed after taking staff loans are not usually deprived of provident fund and gratuity since banks are in obligation to adjust employees loan. That is why even many well off bank officials take staff loan to safeguard their end benefit.

Training is another responsibility of HRD of any bank. Bangladesh Institute of bank Management or BIBM is the oldest and best training institute so far for banking sector of Bangladesh. But we have too many bankers to train by a sole institute like BIBM. For this, Bangladesh Bank has established its own training institute to minimise the load of BIBM. Besides, many local banks have now established own training institute so that at least one training can be given to each employee every year. However, the priority in training should come to related person of the desk since bank trains for related job perfection.

Recently banking sector has been reducing salary for recruitment (other than top management level who are usually contractually recruited) not as compliance but because market has too many business graduates and unemployed  to recruit and  also by giving opportunity to ample number of non business-graduates for recruitment. The more automated the banking sector becomes, the more they are recruiting low salary-based people compromising quality which is considered success for at least  Human Resource Division of any bank in Bangladesh. Many say: people flee seeing bankers as much as they flee seeing marketing representatives of Insurance companies now-a-days. The growing number of bankers and their tug of war with clients and business has highly affected the goodwill/honour of human resources of the overall banking sector.

The writer is a banker

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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